Whaley Bridge pupils put buzz back in community with bee hunt

Students at a High Peak primary school have painted pebbles to look like endangered bumblebees and will be hiding the rocks for people to find.

By Lucy Ball
Monday, 4th October 2021, 9:34 am

The classes at Whaley Bridge Primary School have all been renamed after endangered animals and the reception class, or Bumblebees as they will now be known, are raising awareness of the bees in the community.

Heather Casey, the school’s business manager said: “We wanted to do something a bit different and naming the classes after endangered animals will give us lots of new learning opportunities as we explore more about each animal."

In recent years two species of bumblebee have become extinct and eight are endangered.

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Reception pupils from Whaley Bridge Primary set off to hide their bees around the village

This is due to loss of habitat, disease, pesticides, and climate change.

Bumblebees are vital for the pollination of wildflowers, garden plants and crops. However, in the last 100 years the numbers have severely declined.

To tackle this and raise awareness the Bumblebee class has painted rocks to look like bees and on Friday the newly painted pebbles were hidden around Whaley Bridge.

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Reception pupils from Whaley Bridge Primary hiding pebbles painted as bees for the public to find

Heather said: “When people find them they can bring them back into school and get a small treat.

"Once all the pebbles are back we will go and hide them again.

"We want to not only raise the profile of the school in the community but also to raise the profile of the bees and hopefully get more people thinking about what can be done to protect the bees in their gardens.”

Teacher Mrs Baxby is leading the pebble hunt and this is the first activity the class has done to learn about the bumblebees.

Other classes in the school have also become endangered animals with the Years 1 and 2 pupils becoming hedgehogs and the students in Years 3 and 4 becoming red pandas.

Those in Year 5 will learn about snow leopards and the Year 6 children will spend their time learning about the black rhino.

Heather added: “In the spring we had a new headteacher with a new vision for the school.

"We have a new and exciting curriculum and lots of ways to engage the students in learning such as the bee hunt.”

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